Ex-Marawi mayor facing rebellion charges nabbed in Misamis Oriental checkpoint
MARAWI CITY–Former Marawi City Mayor Fajad Salic, suspected of involvement with the Maute terror group and the siege of this city on May 23, was arrested at a checkpoint in Villanueva town in Misamis Oriental province on Wednesday night, police said.
Supt. Lemuel Gonda, spokesperson for the Northern Mindanao regional police, said Salic’s Ford Ranger pick-up truck was flagged down by personnel of the Police Public Safety Company manning a checkpoint in Barangay (village) San Martin in Villanueva at 7:30 p.m.
Gonda said Salic, who is facing charges for violation of Article 143 of the Revised Penal Code or rebellion, was taken to Camp Vicente lagar, the regional police headquarters, in Cagayan de Oro City.
Salic, in a previous interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, denied his involvement in the attack on Marawi, saying he could not support the Maute group since his family and relatives live here.
“I don’t support the Maute group. I can’t possibly cause the destruction of Marawi City, where my family and relatives live,” Salic said.
Salic’s older brother, Solitario Ali, also denied any links to the Maute group.
He said he established contact with the group’s leaders at least three times only because he was tapped by Secretary Jesus Dureza of the Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process to convince the Maute group into talking peace with the government.
Ali said his first attempt was days before President Duterte visited Lanao del Sur province in November. The other attempts, he said, were during the early days of the Marawi siege last month.
“I am sure the President knew about my going to Butig (town in Lanao del Sur last year),” Ali said. RJLA/rga
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